Who Owns the Earth?

When we drive to the seashore and find that the lovely stretch of beach we played on last year has the sign "Private Property— No Trespassing," many of us begin to question the unrestricted right of ownership. But when we are offered a piece of oceanfront property at a price we can afford, some of us may tend to defer the question.

Looking to the Bible for an understanding of the moral basis for private possession of land, we come upon such passages as this from Deuteronomy: "The Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount.... Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them." Deut. 1:6,8; Leviticus gives us the law later stressed by Christ Jesus, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Lev. 19:18;

The Ecology of Spirit
May 1, 1971

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